Fundamental Limitations to Gain Enhancement in Periodic Media and Waveguides

Jure Grgic, Johan Raunkjær Ott, Fengwen Wang, Ole Sigmund, Antti-Pekka Jauho, Jesper Mørk, N. Asger Mortensen

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A common strategy to compensate for losses in optical nanostructures is to add gain material in the system. By exploiting slow-light effects it is expected that the gain may be enhanced beyond its bulk value. Here we show that this route cannot be followed uncritically: inclusion of gain inevitably modifies the underlying dispersion law, and thereby may degrade the slow-light properties underlying the device operation and the anticipated gain enhancement itself. This degradation is generic; we demonstrate it for three different systems of current interest (coupled-resonator optical waveguides, Bragg stacks, and photonic crystal waveguides). Nevertheless, a small amount of added gain may be beneficial.
Original languageEnglish
JournalPhysical Review Letters
Issue number18
Pages (from-to)183903
Publication statusPublished - 2012

Bibliographical note

Copyright (2012) American Physical Society.


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